November 2nd Elections
Mark your calendars to vote on Tuesday, November 2nd! This is the date for the 2004 presidential election as well as some very important state-wide issues and local elections. On the local ballot residents will have the opportunity to elect representation for the Town Council, School Board of Directors, Dexter Utility District Board of Trustees, and the Hospital Administrative District #4 Board of Directors. There are four candidates seeking to fill three vacancies on the Town Council. The candidates are Ella Munday, Dean Thompson, Fred Sherburne, and Fred Banks. Two incumbents, Shawn Lancaster and Michael McCormick are seeking re-election to the SAD #46 Board of Directors for three-year terms. Gerrard Rudmin, previously appointed to fulfill the term of John Chenevert, is seeking election to a two-year term on the School Board of Directors. There is also a seat on the School Board with a one-year term that is open and there is no candidate. There are two seats open on Dexter Utility District Board of Trustees, and Bob Crawford is the only candidate seeking election to the Utility District. Hospital Administrative District #4 also has a vacancy due to the recent resignation of Steve Whitesel; however, no candidate papers were filed to fill the position. A critical item on the state referendum ballot is Question #1 which seeks to cap property taxes at 1% of the property valuation. If approved by voters this question could necessitate sweeping changes in the manner in which Maine municipalities operate, and in the case of Dexter would have a dramatic impact on the level of services provided to the community. Sample ballots may be viewed at the Dexter Town Office. Don't just talk about voting and the issues….get out and cast a ballot! If you're not currently registered you can even register at the polls.
Where Do I Vote?
The polls will be located at the Old Town Hall next to the Abbott Memorial Library. Polls will be open from 9:00AM until 8:00PM. Sample ballots may be viewed at the Town Office. If you have questions concerning the November 2nd election or voter registration please contact Shelley Watson at 924-7351.
Voting by Absentee Ballot
In the event you'll be unable to get to the polls on election day, registered voters can vote via absentee ballot. In order to acquire an absentee ballot, the registered voter can visit the Town Office or request a ballot by phone or by mail. A third person can also pick up an absentee ballot for a registered voter, but only the voter can designate a third person to deliver a ballot. There are a number of special requirements associated with voting via absentee ballot and those can best be explained by our Town Clerk/Registrar of Voters. If you have questions concerning absentee voting please call or stop by the Town Office.
Question #1 – What's It All About?
Question #1 on the November 2nd ballot will ask voters if they want to limit property taxes to 1% of the assessed value of the property. This translates to a 10 mil cap on property taxes (Dexter's current mil rate is 21.7). Carol Palesky, a Topsham resident, is the primary proponent of this "citizens initiative" and has been working to get the question on the ballot for more than a decade. The "Palesky Proposal" exclusively targets municipal spending and is virtually a carbon copy of California's Proposition 13 that was adopted 25 years ago. If approved, it would limit the maximum tax rate in any community to 1% of the municipal value, limit any increase in the valuation of property to 2% or less each year, and can only be repealed or amended by a 2/3 majority vote in a state-wide general election.
Ironically, the proposal places no restriction on state or county government, nor does it limit the spending for education in
communities that are members of a school administrative district. For more information concerning the impact of this
proposal on Dexter's ability to support the current level of programs and services you are invited to contact the Town Manager at 924-7351.
This summer the community embarked on a project to enhance the Wayside Park in downtown Dexter. The effort has been a resounding success, and was made possible through the support and generous contributions of several organizations, businesses and individual citizens. The centerpiece of the park is a new gazebo that is large enough to host band concerts and special events. The project graphically demonstrates the level of community pride that makes Dexter a very special place to live and work. Well done Dexter!
Town of Dexter Web Site
Check out the Town of Dexter Web site on the Internet at
www.dextermaine.org. The site is a great source of information about the community, current events, and local business. We've got a great site that's received a lot of attention and many favorable comments. Want to keep up to date on municipal affairs.....then this is “one stop shopping”, and it's “user friendly”!
Reminder From The Tax Collector
The level of local property taxation in a community is based on the cost of municipal operation, the local contribution to operate the schools, and the tax levied by the county. From that total cost we deduct projected revenues (other than property taxes) and the resulting number equates to the tax rate applied for the fiscal year. About 60% of Dexter's total funding needs are paid by property taxes, with the remaining 40% covered by a variety of local revenue sources, state reimbursements, and grants. Our total operating budget for FY 2005 is $4,205,422 with more than $1.3 million of that amount being spent on education. Out of each municipal dollar earmarked in the FY 2005 budget, we will spend about 64 cents to operate the Town, 33 cents to contribute to the operation of the local school district, and 3 cents goes to county government. After factoring projected revenues into the equation it will be necessary to raise about $2.7 million through taxation.
The Municipal property tax rate for the period July 2004 - June 2005 has been set at 21.7 mils. This rate is essentially the same as last year. A number of factors have driven our need to retain a 21.7 mil rate; however, the most pronounced impact was generated by the combination of increased operating costs and reduced revenues. If you experienced an increase in your tax bill it was most probably due to an increase in the assessed value of your home or business. If that is the case it would be prudent to discuss the matter with the Tax Assessor to determine if your property value increased.
Property owners are reminded that their 2004-2005 property taxes must be paid no later than October 29th in order to avoid interest being applied to the unpaid balance. The current interest rate on unpaid taxes is 6.5%. Also, residents should be aware that they may qualify for the State sponsored property tax relief program for homeowners or renters. Qualification for the program is based on income. If you have a spouse or dependents, the income limit is now $46,900. If you are not married and do not have dependents, the income limit is $30,300. The deadline for filing for the refund is January 3, 2005. Forms are available at the town office or by logging on the State of Maine website at www.maine.gov/revenue.
Dexter Development Corporation
The Dexter Regional Development Corporation was created with the primary objectives of promoting and assisting in furthering economic development in the area as well as providing oversight for a variety of unique and diversified economic and community development projects. The Corporation membership meets monthly and all meetings are open to the general public. Persons interested in being a part of this effort should contact Judy Craig (924-3067) or David Pearson (924-7351).
Give Your Business A Boost!
Did you know that the Town maintains a roster of local businesses and you can also post your business name and phone number on the Town's Web Site. We also offer use of the Town Council Chamber windows for month-long displays by small businesses, artists, or craftsmen. If you'd like to take advantage of these FREE services, contact the Town Office.
Want to Serve on a Town Board or Committee?
Municipal Boards and Committees perform a vital role in the conduct of Town government in Maine. The Town of Dexter relies heavily on these groups to develop plans and programs for the community. We currently have positions available on a number of boards and committees. Persons interested in being appointed to a board or committee should obtain an application at the Town Office. Remember, your participation and input on issues can make a difference!
Congratulations Corporal Wintle!
Dexter Police officer Kevin Wintle was recently promoted to the rank of Corporal. Kevin has been with the Dexter Police
Department since November 1999. The promotion is a direct result of the high level of professionalism and distinguished service demonstrated by Corporal Wintle during his five years as a member of Dexter's Police Department. Congratulations
Hunting as well as the discharge of firearms on Town property is prohibited by ordinance. This includes the airport
as well as other Town recreation areas. Violators are subject to fine and prosecution.
Winter Road Rules
With winter rapidly approaching this is a good time to touch on the subject of snow removal and winter driving. Our goal for winter road maintenance is to provide the safest road conditions possible under prevailing conditions, and we attempt to have the roads and streets cleared to accommodate peak traffic periods. During the winter months, and especially during snowstorms, there is a parking ban on Town streets and roads between the hours of 1 AM and 6 AM. Persons who violate the ban will be subject to a fine as well as having their vehicle towed. Residents are also reminded that when plowing or shoveling drives or walkways it's illegal to deposit snow and slush on any public way. This includes roads, intersections, parking lots, and sidewalks.
The accidental destruction of mailboxes often becomes a very sensitive subject as the winter season progresses. Mailboxes installed in the right-of-way are placed there at the owner's risk, and the Town is not obliged to repair damaged posts or boxes. However, if your post is knocked down by a plow you should report the incident to the Town Office. We have temporary posts that can be used to get you through the winter and insure your mail service is uninterrupted. You can help reduce the possibility of having a mailbox damaged by clearing away snow banks around the box and post so it's fully visible to our plow truck drivers.
Finally, remember that winter driving demands your full attention. Courtesy, patience, and a thorough understanding of your vehicle as well as your personal limitations are all factors that can make your winter driving experience "uneventful".
Dial 9-1-1 for Emergency Service
If you require police, fire, or ambulance service to respond to an emergency you should Dial 9-1-1. The appropriate public safety agency will be dispatched through the Penobscot Regional Communication Center in Bangor. If you wish to contact the Dexter Police on non-emergency matters, you may call 924-7622 during normal operating hours.
2004 Annual Town Report
We're in the final phase of assembling the 2004 Town Report. If your group or organization would like to be included in this year's report please let us know. For more information call the Town Manager at 924-7351.
Municipal Parking Lot Permits
If you leave your vehicles in any of the municipal parking lots overnight you must have a permit issued by the Dexter Police Department. Overnight parking without a permit is prohibited and violators are subject to a fine of $25 for each offense. If you require a permit call the Dexter Police Department at 924-7622.
Attention Dog Owners
Dog licenses for 2005 are now available in the Town Office. Current proof of rabies immunization and certificate of neutering or spaying (if applicable) is required. Licenses are $10.00 per dog unless the animal is spayed or neutered, in which case the fee is $6.00. A $15.00 late fee will be charged on all licenses issued after January 31, 2005. Remember, your pets rely on you for their welfare, please be their best friend and take care of their needs.
Municipal Services Directory
Town Office ~ 924-7351
Town Manager: Bob Simpson
Assessor: Dave Pearson
Tax Collector: Marilyn Curtis
Town Clerk: Shelley Watson
Human Services: Linda Clukey
Code Enforcement: Bill Murphy
Recreation ~ 924-3438
Director: Andy Conway
Facilities Maintenance ~ 924-3438
Manager: David Leighton
Police Department Non-Emergency ~ 924-7622
Police Chief: Arthur Roy
Fire Department Non-Emergency ~ 924-7301
Fire Chief: Melvin Wyman
Ambulance Non-Emergency ~ 924-6212
Abbott Memorial Library ~ 924-7292
Librarian: Elizabeth Breault
Public Works Department ~ 924-6257
Director: Mike Delaware
Water District ~ 924-7367
Director: Randy Webber
Superintendent of Schools ~ 924-5262
Superintendent: Lester Butler
Transfer Station ~ 924-3650
Manager: Jim Silverman
Municipal Golf Course ~ 924-6477
Manager: Jim Costedio
Animal Control Officer ~ 924-7513
ACO: Kathy Ricker